It’s about time advertisers start to pitch products to baby boomers

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From time to time we see evidence that maybe — maybe — advertisers finally get it: We are baby boomers with active lifestyles, and it’s still worthwhile to pitch things to us! Well, frequent BoomerCafé contributor Marcia Barhydt sees real light at the end of the tunnel. She sees signs that one of America’s traditional trend-setters is sending boomer girls a message: Guess What? We’re Sexy!

The venerable Huffington Post recently published an article that I think is of big interest to us female boomers.

Marcia Barhydt

It turns out that we’re finally sexy. Well, thank goodness; I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

I’m certain this sexiness will continue, because the article about it was from Vogue Magazine, the ultimate in chic for women. If Vogue says we’re sexy, then we’re sexy, dammit. Don’t mess with us!

The writer of the article, Diane Gilman, is crystal clear that this Vogue bandwagon is sparsely populated, citing only Madonna and Meryl Streep as examples of older sexy. I guess Vogue missed Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon. Well, you get the idea.

Vogue has always been unaccepting of ageing, even behind the scenes. In 1995, Grace Mirabella wrote a book about her life with Vogue titled “In and Out of Vogue.” She was fired as Vogue’s editor that year because she was deemed “too old.” At 59. Fifty-nine!!

Mirabella cites her own experience with the ageist magazine: “Aging was another topic that was too unattractive for words. Aging at Vogue had traditionally been covered through a column called ‘Over 40,’ which showed larger-sized clothes with high necklines and little cap sleeves to hide drooping arms, modeled by gray-haired ladies who looked seventy and were supposed to be about 45. The ageing issue at Vogue was considered ‘Just not modern’.”

Vogue

So now, 17 years later, the fashion magazine for women with a lot of money may be moving out of the ice age by featuring both Madonna and Meryl Streep as cover girls.

In fact, maybe the whole fashion industry, including its partners in crime on Madison Avenue, is finally seeing the light. Boomer women are a huge demographic. To ignore our retail power is foolish.

Maybe they’re finally acknowledging, in their own tiny tunnel-vision way, that older women are sexy. We’ve come a long way Baby!

©Marcia Barhydt, 2012

5 Comments

  1. Great post. I never thought Baby Boomers would allow themselves to be put out to pasture, but I still often feel invisible. I noticed that by the time I hit my mid-40s, for example, hair dressers were wanting to give me more of an “old lady” style than something current. Now 53, I feel stronger, healthier, and better than ever — nice to know that some publications are starting to get the message that we have plenty of life left and we still want to look good!

  2. Hi Marcia, great post from me too! Now if we can just get Sears to feature older women in their catalogues looking more attractive and sexy and get rid of those “mom jeans” we really will be making strides! regards, Wendy

  3. As Boomer women move out of the workforce and chase their dreams there is huge potential for clothing, travel, cars etc. that those in marketing can take note of to fill the new vision we have of ourselves. There is money to be spent but it isn’t going to go where our mothers spent their money. Good points Marcia.

  4. It is astounding that marketing firms don’t pitch more to boomers. We are a huge demographic, have plenty of discretionary income, and most of us haven’t retired yet!

  5. I’m so happy when one of my articles generates some discussion – thank you all.

    Nadine, you’ve hit the nail on the head with your reference to us growing invisible. Maybe we just need to be more vocal as you’re doing here as Wendy is hoping.

    Marilyn,thanks. We are such a huge demographic, I’m shocked that we’re not courted by all industries yet, precisely as Thad suggests.

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